Grace Hopper Celebration 2019: Recap

Mariia Mykhailova

Mariia

This year’s Grace Hopper Celebration – the world’s largest gathering of women technologists – featured several sessions on quantum computing as part of the “Emerging Technologies” track. I was fortunate to present one of these sessions, a workshop titled “Introduction to Quantum Computing with Grover’s Search”, together with my teammates Megan Brown and Cathy Palmer.

Workshop speakers

We really enjoyed attending GHC! Let us share some of the highlights of the celebration.

The Workshop

Our workshop was held on the last day of the celebration when the attendees start feeling exhausted by the intense mix of sessions and networking events of the previous days. Nonetheless, over 150 people showed up for our session, eager to learn quantum computing!

Workshop attendees

We chose to do a high-level overview of Grover’s search algorithm – one of the most famous algorithms in quantum computing – and to discuss the kinds of problems it can be applied to and the kinds of problems it cannot. In the hands-on part of the workshop we offered the attendees the opportunity to apply the algorithm to solving Boolean satisfiability problems and to explore its behavior in various scenarios.

You can find the workshop materials (including the introduction slides) here.

The Highlights

Mariia

For me, the main highlight of the conference was meeting new people and hearing their stories. The term “woman technologist” describes a very diverse group of people, and it was positively inspiring to put a new multitude of faces to the name!

Megan

This was my first time attending the Grace Hopper Celebration, and I was so impressed by it! The main highlight for me was seeing the accomplishments of women in STEM celebrated. I loved the keynote speakers, and felt like I learned new definitions of what success looks like for women in STEM (and really, success in STEM in general), and found their stories truly empowering.

The Takeaways

Mariia

My main takeaway was the fact that I can walk on the stage and unexpectedly enjoy delivering a talk instead of freezing in panic, like I usually do 😊.

Megan

Being new to the Microsoft Quantum team, and to quantum computing in general, it was really exciting for me to see the enthusiasm around quantum technology at GHC. I was extremely impressed with the level of engagement from the audience during our workshop, it demonstrated that people are curious and invested in the quantum space, and that was really empowering to witness.

We are grateful for the opportunity we had to share some of the exciting work we’re doing with the Grace Hopper attendees, and we hope to be able to return to Orlando for GHC20!

Mariia Mykhailova
Mariia Mykhailova

Senior Software Engineer, Quantum

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